Posts Tagged ‘Tomato Festival’

Finding The Silver Lining — How I Ended Up At The Cape Charles, Virginia Tomato Festival After All !

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

I’m a natural optimist  and  I do like to find the  Silver Lining if I can.   When I came  down with a terrible cold last  Tuesday and by  Thursday  still felt like a huge nose attached to a worn out body,  I realized that I just could not subject the other three  who would be in the car with me to a four hour ride  to D.C.  enclosed with Miss Sneezy.   So I said,  in my most pitiful voice ,  you-all  just go to the Book Festival without me .  (See Sept.  21st post about  looking forward to the  2010 National Book Festival ( )   being  held  Saturday,  Sept. 25th on the National Mall in Washington D.C. )    Don’t worry about me,  poor,  poor sick me,  said  I.   Well  OK,   said they,  we won’t worry about you,  we’ll be on our way on Friday morning,   really sorry you can’t come,  we’ll try to get  some of your books signed  for you,  watch the  Book  TV  coverage.

But then,  ironically,  an important client of my daughter’s who was flying  in from the mid-West to the Eastern Shore of  Virginia  to look at waterfront property on Thursday the 24th decided to stay over through Saturday to look at additional beachfront acreage.   So  that took her out of the trip as well.   And then my friend’s  son’s  lasik surgery got bumped from Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon,  so another one bites the dust.  That  left only my husband in a position to make the trip,  but loyalist that he is,  he  pledged to stay by my side,  replenishing Kleenex and orange juice as necessary,  commiserating  with my loss of  the opportunity to get the books I had purchased by Michelle Norris,  Anchee Min,  David  Remnick  and Scott Turow autographed by them,  planned as  special Christmas gifts  for several people.  ( I realize that it may not seem all that special.  But trust me when I say that after you have stood in line about two hours per each author,  in the hot sun,  the only food all day being the trail mix and a PBJ  you  fortunately brought along but which got somewhat squished at the bottom of  your rolling briefcase,  washed down sparingly by a warm Desani,  portapotties about 10 miles off  but you are worried about leaving the line in case of a ruckus about getting back in,  feet aching even though you’re wearing your most comfortable Birkenstocks,  weary arms clutching the max- allowed- per- author three or four books,  open to the title pages as ordered by the event staff,   yellow post-it notes peeking over the edges of the title pages whereon  you have,  after much wracking of the brain,  written the  pithy phrases you want the admired author to inscribe for the recipient……  Well,  after all that,  I don’t care if  it’s just an inscribed  “Manual of  Insurance Rates”   instead of a John Grisham  1st edition —  by golly,  it   is  special !!!!  )  Anyway,  the 11th annual National Book Festival is coming up in just 361  more days,  wonder who the authors will be  ?

But back to the Silver Lining.  In order to go to the Book Festival,  I  would  have had to miss the 3rd annual Cape Charles Tomato Festival.   So now,   if I felt up to it,  we could attend. Possible  Silver Lining.   Mid- afternoon,  pocket full of cough drops,  I summoned up the energy to slip down  to Cape Charles with my husband.  It was a pretty day,  blue skies,  warm,  breezes blowing in from the  Chesapeake Bay.   My husband and I both  always like the ArtWalk and this year was no exception — lots of mediums exhibited,   sidewalk tables plus snow white individual tents  featuring watercolors,  sculpture,  glasswork,  oils,  stained glass,  decoy carvings, etc.,  up and down Mason Avenue as far as the eye could see.   On one of the next- to- last sidewalk tables,  I came across  my art  purchase of the day…….  a  whimisical  watercolor,  original and framed,  a pair of  charming orange seahorses,  outlined in red,  with large aquamarine eyes,  set against a vivid  backgound of  various blues,  white bubbles and little  red hearts floating upwards  as the seahorses  shyly peek  at each other.   The whole painting was so vibrant,  I love seahorses,  I have a perfect place to hang it,  I could not resist.

Continuing on down the sidewalk,  past those last lucky diners to be able to enjoy a bowl of  the ambrosial tomato basil bisque  being served at Cape Charles Coffee House,  we  crossed the street to see the antique cars exhibit.    Arriving  just after the judging was completed,  we watched as the trophies were  being awarded.  Although I am not that into cars,  I was impressed with the 1930 Model A,  black of course,  which looked like it just rolled off the assembly line.  (  You’ll remember that Henry Ford famously said that his customers could have the Model A in any color they wanted—- just as long as they wanted black !  )  Among others,  a trophy was awarded to a 1955  mint condition Chevy painted in beautiful tones of cream and  deep burgandy,  owned by MaryLou and John  Thornton,  whose cute-as-a-button two year old grandaughter,  Andrea,  stole the awards ceremony as she presented  the trophies.  And that pretty much did it for me,  tired,  still not fully recovered,  ready to go home and flip on the television.    And so,  a Silver Lining after all  — I got a fun painting at the Cape Charles Tomato Festival and then spent the rest of the afternoon in comfy air conditioning,  enjoying  Book TV’s  ( )  live coverage of the National Book Festival  direct from C-Span’s  little studio set up in the huge History and Biography pavilion,  temperature  in D.C.  estimated  at a hefty 90 + degrees  and no Chesapeake Bay breezes.  Hi, ho  Silver Lining.